Sacramento Republican Party Goes Dark

The Sacramento County Republican Party (SCRP) is once again acting much like the Keystone Cops. The tone deaf, authoritarian leadership of the group has resulted in their website going down. Why because they won’t pay their bill for web hosting. And that’s not all!

Member Ken Henderson designed and hosted the site at his own expense. After a few months, SCRP leadership said they wanted a more professional looking site with more ability to upgrade content. Henderson offered them a package for about $1,000. They refused to offer due to cost.

The leadership was not very grateful for Henderson’s contribution and started grumbling. They weren’t happy that he wouldn’t drop everything and do updates to the site when they demanded it. He offered—at a reduced rate—to give them the level of service that they demanded but the committee refused. The concept of paying customers that help Henderson cover his bills getting preferential treatment just made them angry. Henderson told them that they would have to pay for the hosting of the site. Monthly bills we submitted to the Committee for web hosting.

The relationship between SCRP and Henderson continued to deteriorate. Finally, at the May meeting Chairman Susan Blake publically threw Henderson under the bus. She went on at length detailing the perceived lack of service provided by Henderson because he was putting other customers first and not doing things per the committee’s request. Clearly the committee’s idea of a schedule “was we need this done now”. Blake severed the relationship and then announced that they needed a professional person to do their website and give them the level of service that they demanded. A search would commence at once to find a new website designer.

At the June meeting, Blake introduced a proposal for a new website design from a professional vendor. This proposal was introduced on the heels of a Treasurer’s Report detailing the fact that income to the committee was anticipated to be reduced to a trickle by December with virtually no foreseeable income for 2011. Blake’s aggressive negotiation resulted in a deal with the new vendor for a mere $3,800. This proposal was put to a vote of the committee and passed with only one NO vote, mine.

Later in the meeting, Blake was considering an agenda item to fill a vacancy on the committee. She admitted that the proper meeting notice was not sent to members and asked for a suspension of the Bylaws so the vacancy could be filled. This request was granted and the vacancy was filled.

OK so how can the vote to enter into a $3,800 contract for web services that they admittedly cannot afford be valid when later in the same meeting the Chair admits the meeting was not properly noticed? The so-called Parliamentarian at the meeting sat completely silent during this whole discussion.

This week the stuff finally hit the fan and the SCRP website was shut off due to the web hosting bill not being paid. The committee contacted Henderson and asked what happened to the website? He informed them that they were shut off because they did not pay their bill. The committee’s response was, “what bill.” Henderson had to explain to them that the little paper that was sent to them each month since December that they received in the mail was called a bill. A bill is for goods or services provided to someone. If the bill is not paid then the goods get taken away and services are terminated. Further that the law says these bills need to be paid. I’m sure he had to use small words in his efforts to try and communicate the need for someone at SCRP to pay their bills. Also they were told to find another ISP because the current one did not enjoy being publicly tossed under the bus.

Support the Platform’s Republican leaders in action. Don’t you love it?

Support The Platform and Placer County

In the wake of Tuesday’s election one of the most interesting things has to be Support the Platform’s first foray into Placer County politics. Of three competitive districts, STP was pushing three candidates in District 1, six in District 2 and four in District 4.

Below are the results. W is won, L is lost

District 1
4 Seats (vote for only these 3 candidates)
W James N. D’Orso
L Tom Hudson
W Jeffrey S. Allen

STP candidates win two seats

District 2
6 Seats (vote for only these 6 candidates)
W Ed Rowen
W Angelo Anthony Andriani, Jr
W Aaron F. Park
L Kathy Arts
L David John Patterson
L Bob Backus

STP candidates win three seats

District 4
4 Seats (vote for only these 4 candidates)
W Jeffrey A. Atteberry
L Lynn Kyme
L George E. Park, Jr.
W Joseph E. Dorr

STP candidates win two seats

As you can see, STP batting about .500 in these races.

Several nuggets of information are noteworthy about the slate; especially the losers.

Tom Hudson
CRA Senate District 1 Director

Tom Hudson is the Chairman of the Placer County Republican Party, the National Committeeman for the California Republican Assembly, the Executive Director of the California Taxpayer Protection Committee, and the Pacific-Northwest Vice President for the National Federation of Republican Assemblies.

George Park
CRA Senate District 1 Deputy Director
George and Aaron Park are often seen at California Republican Assembly and California Republican Party Conventions sporting their Hawaiian shirts. Both are identified as conservative leaders in Placer County.

For the Party Chairman and one of his chief supporters not just to lose but come in dead last in their respective districts is a big deal.

Did the head of STP, Jeff Allen win because he was head of STP or because he was not one of the usual suspects? Probably the latter.

The other interesting person that was not on the list was Karen England. While Karen was urging people to vote for STP’s de facto leader—Craig Deluz, Craig’s pals were simultaneously working to try and defeat Karen. Karen has been a long time conservative ally and fellow traveler in the CRA so why was it necessary to try to defeat her? Craig—in a radio spot run on KTKZ—even took credit for some of Karen’s activism at Capitol Resource Institute—which is the group that Karen leads.

Clearly the Republicans in Placer are not feeling the love. Support the Platform would appear to be better named Support the Status Quo. Clearly Placer voters want a new direction.

Prop 16: SMUD v PG&E

I’m always on the look-out for new blog material. Today’s came from an off-handed comment at a meeting I attended last night. It regards California’s Proposition 16. This ballot measure is to require a 2/3 vote to allow local municipal power service to expand coverage. The comment was basically that my friend’s attorney read the insert in his SMUD bill was shocked about what this measure would do. Based on his friend’s reading of the NO on 16 flyer inserted into his utility bill, this is how he should vote.

I didn’t want to offend this person so I just kept silent. Instead I am composing this blog post.

Friend, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but… Your utility, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is the cause of Prop 16 in the first place. If you will go back a few years, they are the ones that tried to gut the PG&E holdings in Yolo county and annex them—eminent domain—the infrastructure and ratepayers of West Sacramento, Davis and Woodland. SMUD was willing to take the “low hanging fruit” and leave the rural customers to PG&E.

In such a scenario, the ratepayers in Yolo might have seen a rate reduction. SMUD can only be competitive on an economy of scale when there is a high concentration of ratepayers and a minimum of related infrastructure. Rural PG&E customers would have seen an increase in their rates had this hostile takeover occurred.

To me the interesting part of SMUD and their flyer was my utility bill. My electric bill was abnormally low this month from what it should be. I am positive that SMUD cut the billing cycle short so they could send me a smaller bill and get out their political mailer ahead of the June primary. This subliminal message was we give you low utility bills so keep the status quo, vote NO on 16.

Prop 16, is PG&E’s idea for self defense. If you will recall, this is what happened in the case of SMUD’s aborted annexation of most Yolo county ratepayers. A move was made to let people vote on it. This electoral slapdown was not anticipated by the SMUD Board.

SMUD has gone from being a net exporter of electricity to a net importer of it. With the collapse of the housing bubble, AB-32, and government regulations and taxes, SMUD seems poorly positioned to continue providing the lower rates they once did.

Prop 16 might be stacked against SMUD but if SMUD was producing its own energy and not relying on gimmicks like “green energy” and mercury laced light bulbs then Prop 16 would be irrelevant to their customers.